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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    We had a feral hive a few years back by an outbuilding on our property. Don't know what happened to them, but haven't seen them for at least a year. Seeing as there had been bees there, I figured it was a pretty good place to set up a swarm trap, so, I baited (with an old drawn out frame and some lemongrass oil) a 5 frame nuc and attached it to the wall near the old hive entrance. I checked it today--and there's bees going in and out!!

    It doesn't seem like a flood of bees, but it's consistent--a bee enters or leaves every 10 seconds or so. So, my questions are: how long should I leave the nuc there to make sure I get the whole colony and the queen? I blocked off the bottom entrance and drilled a 1" hole for the sole entrance/exit, so when I move the nuc I should just cork the hole to keep them inside? I want to install them into a KTBH I just built, any advice on how to make the transition from the 5 frame nuc to a 48" KTBH?

    Thanks!


    BD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    Update: Ok, now there are a LOT of bees! Here's the problem: the entrance to the old hive is about 4' away from my swarm trap. It's about 20' off the ground, so not easy to get to in terms of blocking it off. Most of the bees seem to be going into my swarm trap, though some are going in and out of the old hive entrance. I suppose the bees will go where the queen goes--so should I put a screened cone around the old entrance ASAP? They seem really gentle, but being 20' up on a ladder trying to cover up the old entrance I suuuuure hope they stay that way!!!

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    If you see bees in the nuc at night then more than likely you have a swarm. Have a look the next day to make sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    So, there were no bees in the old hive, you put a bait nuc up, and bees are visiting both? They smell of old comb will draw bees even if they are not looking for a home. They will rob it of what ever "goodies" there are to be had. The old hive may have goodies in it as well and in the process of locating the old hive, the bees stumble on the old hive entrance and check it out. It very well could be a swarm. The behavior you describe fits what I have seen. I have had bees camp out in a bait box and leave the next day. I put a bait box up at a friends house about three weeks ago. Two days later, bees coming and going. Next day, nothing. This Sunday swarm moves in. In your case, at least, there are bees in the area and know that your bait box is there. Be patient
    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    First, get a bee suit. LOL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    Ok, so I'm kind of puzzled.

    There's been steady activity at the trap for 3 days now. If it's not raining, there's 15-20 bees flying around and/or going in or out the entrance, so maybe they're staying? What I don't know is how large a swarm it is because I've never seen more than 30-40 of them at a time.....So:


    1. It's been 3 days with steady activity--is this a swarm or just a scouting party? How will I know?
    2. Any swarm will have a queen, right?
    3. How small can a swarm be?
    4. Should I let them build out the nuc until they're larger, or should I transfer them to my KTBH now?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: I think I trapped my first swarm--now what?!? lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WI-k9B4sec
    They checked this box out for three/4 days. This is what it looked like(activity) the day before they moved in,,,,,,most of the day. If a swarm leaves w/o a queen, somehow, they go back to the parent hive. I have captured swarms the size of large grapefruit. Had a virgin queen. (afterswarm) Gave them frame of honey, couple frames of brood, did great. They just superceded her. This would have been her third season. IMHO, I would make sure I had a solid swarm before I made an attempt to move them. Do you see pollen coming in??? I had a swarm move into a bait box a week ago. Saw my first pollen coming in today.

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